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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 21, 2013 3:00pm-5:01pm EST

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the mail saying his dog, his dog had qualified for insurance under obamacare. so yeah, i would probably be running for the exit, too, if i had supported this law. i would be looking to change the subject, change the subject just as senate democrats have been doing with their threats of going nuclear and changing the senate rules on nominations. if i were a senator from oregon, for example, which hasn't enrolled a single person, a single person for the obamacare exchange, i'd probably want to talk about something else, too. but here's the problem with this latest distraction. it doesn't distract people from obamacare. it reminds them of obamacare. it reminds them of all the broken promises.
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it reminds them of the power grab. it reminds them of the way democrats set up one set of rules for themselves and another for everybody else. one set of rules for them and another for everybody else. actually, this is all basically the same debate. and rather than distract people from obamacare, it only reinforces the narrative of a party that is willing to do and say just about anything to get its way. willing to do or say just about anything to get its way. because that's just what they're doing all over again. once again, senate democrats are threatening to break the rules of the senate, break the rules of the senate in order to change the rules of the senate. and over what? over what?
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over a court that doesn't even have enough work to do? millions of americans are hurting because of a law washington democrats forced upon them, and what do they do about it? they cook up some fake fight over judges. a fake fight over judges that aren't even needed. look, i get it. as i indicated, i want to be talking about something else, too, if i had to defend dogs getting insurance while millions of americans lost theirs. but it won't work. and the parallels between this latest skirmish and the original obamacare push are just too obvious to ignore. think about it. just think about it. the majority leader promised, he promised over and over again
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that he wouldn't break the rules of the senate in order to change them. this was not an ancient promise. july 14, on "meet the press," said we're not touching judges. this year, july 14, "meet the press," we're not touching judges. then there are the double standards. when democrats were in the minority, they argued strenuously for the very thing they now say we will have to do without. namely, the right to extend a debate on lifetime appointments -- to extended debate on lifetime appointments. in other words, they believe that one set of rules should apply to them, to them and another set to everybody else. he may have just as well have said if you like the rules of
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the senate, you can keep them. huh? if you like the rules of the senate, you can keep them. just the way so many democrats in the administration and congress now believe that obamacare is good enough for their constituents, but then when it comes to them, their political allies, their staff, well, of course, that's different. and let's not forget about the raw power, the raw power at play here. on this point, the similarities between the obamacare debate and the democratic threat to go nuclear on nominations are inescapable. inescapable. they muscled through obamacare on a party-line vote and didn't care about the views of the minority. didn't care one whit about the views of the minority. and that's just about what they're going to do here. the american people decided to
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give the democrats -- not to give the democrats the house or to restore the filibuster-proof majority they had in the senate back in 2009, and our democratic colleagues don't like that one bit. they just don't like it. the american people are getting in the way of what they'd like to do. so they're trying to change the rules of the game to get their way anyway. they said so themselves. earlier this year, the senior senator from new york said they want to fill up the d.c. circuit one way or the other. fill up the d.c. circuit one way or the other. and the reason is clear. as one liberal activist put it earlier this year, president bush's agenda runs through the -- president obama's agenda runs through the d.c. circuit. you can't get what you want through the congress because the american people in november,
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2010, said they had had enough. they issued a national restraining order after watching two years of this administration unrestrained, so now it runs through the bureaucracy and the d.c. circuit. as i said, in short, unlike the first two years of the obama administration, there is now a legislative check on the president and the administration doesn't much like checks and balances. so it wants to circumvent the people's representatives with an aggressive regulatory agenda, and our democratic colleagues want to facilitate that by filling up a court that will rule on his agenda, a court that doesn't even have enough work to do, especially if it means changing the subject from obamacare for a few days. and get this -- they think they can change the rules of the senate in a way that benefits only them. they want to do it in such a way that president obama's agenda
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gets enacted but that a future republican agenda couldn't get his or her picks confirmed by the supreme court using the same precedent our democratic friends want to set. so they want to have it both ways. but this sort of gerrymandered vision of the nuclear option is really just wishful thinking. as the ranking member of the judiciary committee, senator grassley, pointed out yesterday. the majority leader changes the rules for some judicial nominees, he is effectively changing them for all judicial nominees, including the supreme court, as senator grassley pointed out just yesterday. so look, i realize this sort of wishful thinking might appeal to the uninitiated newcomers in the democratic conference who served exactly zero days in the minority, but the rest of you guys in the conference should know better. those of you who have been in the minority before should know better. let's remember how we got here.
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let's remember that it was senate democrats who pioneered, who literally pioneered the practice of filibustering circuit court nominees and who have been its biggest proponents in the very recent past. after president bush was elected, they even held a retreat in which they discussed the need to change the ground rules by which lifetime appointments are considered. the senior senator from new york put on a seminar, invited laurence tribe, cass sunstein. in the past the practice had been neither side had filibustered circuit tkphorplt niece. in fact -- nominees. in fact i can remember senator lott voting cloture on circuit court judges to the ninth circuit knowing full well once cloture is invoked they would be confirmed. this business of filibustering
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circuit court judges was entirely an invention of the guys over here on the other side, the ones you're looking at right over here. they made it up. they started it. and this is where we ended up. after president bush was elected, they held this retreat that i was just talking about. they made a big deal about it. it was all a prelude to what followed. the serial filibustering of several of president bush's circuit court nominees including miguel he is -- estrada whose nomination to the d.c. circuit was filibustered a record seven times. know they want to blow up the rules because republicans are following a precedent they themselves set and i might add are following that precedent in a much more modest way than democrats did. so how about this for a suggestion?
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how about instead of picking a fight with senate republicans by jamming through nominees through a court that doesn't even have enough work to do, how about taking yes for an answer and working with us on filling judicial emergencies that actually exist. yet, rather than learn from past precedents on judicial nominations that they themselves set, democrats now want to set another one. i have no doubt that if they do, they will come to regret that one as well. our colleagues evidently would rather live for the moment, satisfy the moment, live for the moment and try to establish a story line that republicans are intent on obstructing president obama's judicial nominees. that story line is patently ridiculous in light of the facts. an utterly absurd suggestion in light of the facts.
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before this current democratic gambit to fill up the d.c. circuit one way or the other, the senate had confirmed 215 -- 215 -- of the president's judicial nominees and rejected two. that's a 99% confirmation rate. 215 confirmed and 2 rejected. 99%. look, if advise and consent is to mean anything at all, occasionally consent is not given. but by any objective standard, senate republicans have been very, very fair to this president. we've been willing to confirm his nominees. in fact, speaking of the d.c. circuit, we just confirmed one a few months ago 97-0 to the d.c.
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circuit. so i suggest our colleagues take a time-out and stop trying to jam us, work with us instead to confirm vacancies that actually need to be filled, which we have been doing. this rules change charade has gone from being a biannual threat to an annual threat now to a quarterly threat. how many times have we be threatened my colleagues? do what i say or we'll break the rules to change the rules. confirm everybody 100%. anything less than that is obstructionism. that's what they're saying in effect. let me say we're not interested in having a gun put to our head any longer. you think this is in the best interest of the united states senate and the american people to make advise and consent in
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effect mean nothing, obviously you can break the rules to change the rules to achieve that. but some of us have been around here long enough to know the shoe is sometimes on the other foot. this strategy of distract, distract, distract is getting old. i don't think the american people are fooled about this. if our colleagues want to work with us to fill judicial vacancies like we've been doing all year, 99% of judges confirmed, obviously we're willing to do that. if you want to play games, set yet another precedent that you'll no doubt come to regret, i say to my friends on the other side of the aisle, you'll regret
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this and you may regret it a lot sooner than you think. let me be clear, the democratic play book of broken promises, double standards and raw power, the same play book that got us obamacare, has to end. it may take the american people to end it, but it has to end. that's why republicans are going to keep their focus where it belongs, on the concerns of the american people. it means we're going to keep pushing to get back to the drawing board on health care to replace obamacare with real reforms that do not punish the middle class, and we'll leave the political games to our friends on the other side of
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>> under a parliamentary maneuver scripted in advance, democrats led by harry leed sought to change proceedings only a simple majority was needed to clear the way for a final vote. supreme court nominations would be exempted from change and subject to a traditional filibuster. the move was backed by all but three democrats and opposed by all the senate republicans. -- dissidentss is manchin,carl levin, and the senator from arkansas appeared reaction from just outside the chamber. >> good afternoon. this is not a very proud day in the history of the senate. in order to distract attention away from obamacare, the senate has just broken the rules in order to change the rules.
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we had this threat for some time now. at the beginning of each of the last two congress is, we have had a discussion about rules changes. senator alexander was right in the middle of those and will give you an update on what happened back in january to refresh your memory. after that, the majority leader said we had set the rules for this congress. well, obviously, that was a commitment not kept. we thought he said if you like the senate rules, you can keep them. but, in fact, we ended up having another discussion in july with another threat of the so-called nuclear option. and then you have seen what they have done today. talk about a manufactured crisis. we have confirmed 215 judges and defeated two. and the problem with regard to the d c circuit entirely related to the size of the court and the size of the docket. we took exactly the same view
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senate democrats took airing the bush administration that there was no rationale for extending and increasing the membership of c. circuit. exactly the same rationale. a letter signed by schumer and others saying there was no need for an additional judge. we had emergencies in other parts of the country. this is nothing more than a power grab in order to try to advance the obama administration's regulatory theda and they just broke senate rules in order to exercise the power grab. so i would sum it up by saying it is a sad day in the history of the senate. after today, advise and consent probably means to them 100% consent. senator alexander would give you the gist -- will give you the statistics on how common the rejection of nominees has been in the past because i think it will be eye-opening for you.
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>> thank you. in my view, this is the most important and most dangerous restructuring of senate rules since thomas jefferson wrote them at the beginning of our country. it is really not about the filibuster. it is another raw exercise of political power to permit the majority to do anything it wants whenever it wants to do it. in thatamacare ii sense. as senator levin said, after world war ii, a united states senate in which the majority can do anything it wants any time it wants is a senate without rules. it would be like the red sox falling behind in boston and sang to the cardinals, well, where the home team so we will at a few inning until we can score some wins. this is a senate without rules.
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it is based upon the flimsiest of excuses. the argument is that filibusters were used to deny seeds to presidential nominees. in the history of the senate, the number of supreme court nominees denied their seat by a filibuster is zero. there was an lbj maneuver. the number of district judges denied their seat by filibuster is zero. the number of cabinet members are denied their seat by filibuster is zero. that is according to the congressional research service. the number of circuit judges denied their seat by filibuster is five democrats and five publicans, all because democrats for the first time in 2003, the time i was coming to the senate, filibustered 10 of president bush's judges and that was the first time in history. they also say it has taken too long for them to be there. the senate historian told me that president obama has been as cabinetated with
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members as his last two presidents. you can pick the executive calendar up off every senator's desk and it shows this, it shows that of the people on the calendar who could be brought up to be confirmed, 54 of them have been there for less than three weeks. and most of them, the rest, for less than nine. what could the majority leader have done about that? under the rules changes made earlier, he could have taken 10 of these subcabinet members, put them on the floor, and he could start voting wednesday morning, giveback four hours on each one, and have it by friday. the majority leader could have asked the senate -- what the republicans have said is her cicely what the democrats asked 2006 by letter sent in all the democratic members of the senate judiciary committee in which they said under no
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circumstances should any judge circuit to the d.c. until we first consider the fact that it has less than half the average workload of the other circuits ago and the republican president agreed with that. one of his nominees was not confirmed. they reduce it by one. all we ask of the d c circuit was that we consider the grassley bill which has been in the senate for 10 years to put judges where they are needed the most and take them to where they are needed the least which is the d.c. circuit. in summary, this is a power grab. it is obama ii. it is another partisan political maneuver to permit the democratic majority to do whatever it wants to do. in this case might go to advance the president's regulatory agenda. the only care for it that i know is an election. >> [inaudible]
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will republicans respond? >> i do not think this is a time to be talking about reprisals. i think it is a time to be sad about what has been done to the united states senate. the greatest deliberative body in the world, the only legislative body i am aware of where a majority does not get to do anything it wants to at any point without confrontation with the minority. so i am not interested in discussing a possible reprisal. i do not think it is good for the senate. there is a lot of nervousness on the democratic side. they are in a panic about obamacare. the majority leader is desperately trying to change the subject. we want to get back on the subject. for most americans look for what they are thinking about right now is they are losing their health insurance, their premiums are going up, jobs are being lost, and we need to... what the american people are most concerned about. i will take one more. >> if you guys when the majority
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and you are majority leader, will you abide by this ruling today or will you try to move to reinstate prior precedent? >> you guys know how much i love answering hypotheticals. obviously i am not going to answer that. but i will say this, the american people are deeply disturbed by this administration and this senate. as senator alexander ended his remarks by saying, the solution to this problem is an election. the solution is in the ballot box. we look forward to having a great election in november 2014. thanks. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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>> i think this is a terrific vote for the u.s. senate. we have had a former paralysis that has inflicted this institution and it has done great disservice to the american people. we have had a process by which it had become unequal because the senate in its inability to have up-and-down votes on executive branch nominees edge initial nominees undermined the other branches. it never intended by the writers of our constitution, never laid out in the constitution. the senateelieve should play an incredibly important role in advice and consent. that is the responsibility we have in the constitution. but that is not blocked and destroy. it is a significant difference. our tradition through several hundred years has been one of up and down votes with rare exception. we've tried to return to this in
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2005 when we had a conversation and agreed that the majority would not change the rules and the minority would allow up-and- down votes with rare exception. when president obama became president, this understanding became broken by the minority. then we tried to restore this in january of this year in which the republican leader can to the floor and said we will return to the traditions of the u.s. senate regarding nominations. that promise was broken in short order. we tried to again return to this standard in july when agreement for up-and-down votes on executive branch nominees. this also was broken just a couple weeks ago. so the vote will come today. it is a necessary outcome of a series of broken promises. and it restores -- what we did today restores the understanding of the traditional understanding of advice and consent, thereby giving the senate it's significant role and vision and the constitution, giving a
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thorough chance to thoroughly nominees. and not allowing advice and consent to be blocked and distorted. >> republicans say this will slow down the senate and will have a ripple effect with treaties and everything. how do you respond? washington said -- [indiscernible] intended toe senate be a d brief. that is what it has become under this use of the filibuster. when the promise of rare exception is destroyed in favor , that ise obstruction what we have. we are already in that space. deepe will be out of the freeze nomination. we will be able to proceed with the normal tradition of the senate and get the open -- up- and-down vote on the nominees.
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as to whether the minority chooses to continue obstruction in the legislative side, it is yet to be seen. but that is not with the american people want. the american people want us to take on the big issues. they want as to be taking on living wages. they want us to be taking on full or employment. they want us to be taking on the high cost of college. they want us to be helping increased manufacturing in the united states of america by helping our companies be more efficient and more effective. those are the things they want us to be doing, not sending us into a further slowdown all legislation. i hope the republicans will listen to the american people who want this institution to function. >> senator mcconnell took a direct shot at you when he said not a single person has signed up in oregon. how do you respond? >> well, certainly, mitch mcconnell has made many arguments today. he talked about broken promises. month -- republican
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minority that broke the promise in 2005. it is mitch mcconnell's leadership of the republican party that do this in january. it is the republicans who broke the promise in july of up-and- down votes for executive nominees. is in aerstand that he tough position, having been unable to honor the up-and-down vote with rare exceptions, which is the traditional position. and he will bite us to talk about something else. he would like as not to in theze the damage done executive branch, the damage done with nominations. he talked about the workload and yet, everyone present notes the workload is just as high today as it was when our republican colleagues insisted on up-and- bush'stes in president nominees. these are distractions that the minority leader is trying to put forward. i understand why he is trying to do that. but let's focus on the reality, the american people want this institution to function. on thent to see us take
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big issues. they do not want to see the entire year enough bite paralyzing process. >> do you want this to go beyond nominations? >> i have advocated we need to get rid of the filibuster on motion to proceed. we cannot even move onto important legislation. we should get rid of the filibuster on conference committee. we spent six months on the budget conference committee and we are unable to do so. 60 votes tove not end debate but 41 to extend debate. of those 41, a least one should thereafter have to be on the floor making arguments so that of a silenttead paralysis, we have a talking filibuster. that is the tradition of the senate. if you want to delay things, you would take the floor and make your case before the american people. that is a tradition we should restore. then the american people can judge whether or not the folks
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were slowing down the are not heroes. it is supposed to be impartial. these are lifetime appointments. if you allow one president to get up-and-down votes and filmmaking -- vacancies and you do not allow the next president to have up-and-down vote and attack theies, you integrity of the court. who saidrevisionists there must be a up-and-down votes and insisted on it in 2005 and said that the work load is sufficient to fill these vacancies have come before us and created a false argument because the work load is at least as high as it was then. stand,ad allowed this to then it would have been an
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ideological court packing that would not be allowed to take lace and would have undermined the integrity of our courts and would be wrong in every sense of the word. thank you all. do tot can republicans turn back these changes? is there anything they can do? >> the senate has spoken. you are welcome. the senate has spoken. it has said we tried to restore ritual understanding to the senate time and time again. each time, the minority has failed to uphold the was edition. the only alternative was to -- failedthis change to uphold the tradition. 's leadershipleader
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on this issue has been extraordinary. the battle in january and reached an agreement. he fought the battle in july and reached an agreement. the agreement requires both sides to hold their position. he has taken us through a number of steps leading to the ultimate conclusion that we have to change the application of the rules. >> when we hear the grave warnings from republicans -- control 55 seats in the senate compared to 40 54 two publicans. the filibuster change -- 45 for republicans. senate majority leader harry reid expressed no reservations about the possibility that republicans would change the filibuster rules were they to regain the majority. his comments are about half an hour. >> this is not a time for
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celebration. it is a time for being very serious. too long, washington has been in gridlock, gridlock, gridlock. are sick of people this. we are sick of it. is there any wonder how people look at congress? ago,said a little while enough is enough. i am not here talking about how clean we are and how dirty they are. when it comes to what has gone there is senate floor, a lot of blame to go around. seenbstract should we have from the republicans against president obama has reached new heights never dreamed of, never dreamed of, never even come close in the history of the
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country through all of the ups and downs we have had as a country. first 140for the years as a country, there were no filibusters. the founding fathers were clear on what they thought. there should be super majorities. , and of course on trading. in the same paragraph as it votes, thetwo thirds founding fathers did not mention at all things other than those two things that required a super majority. and the entire history of our country, there have been 100 68 filibusters against nominations. filibusters68 against nominations. with obama as president, the
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other half. winky three district judges have been filibustered. years, three. four and a half years, 20. obama, even his judicial nominees have had to wait longer than president bush. who dealse nominee with making sure the water we drink and the air we breathe is sure. waiting almost 890 days because they do not like that agency, the environmental protection agency. that an undeniable fact the obstruction we have seen this year is new and very, very different. not just about republicans versus democrats.
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this is about doing what is right for this institution to involve and remain responsive to the needs our country has and we have not been doing that. the status quo of this gridlock has guaranteed that the middle class gets no attention whatsoever. the most important distinction today between those who are willing to solve this problem and those who defend the status quo. how can anyone in good conscience defend the status quo? , youeople to stand and say are breaking the rules to change the rules. since 1977, the rules have been -- 18 times.mes i got my numbers mixed up. rules are changed all the time. senator byrd, the master of the
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senate, number two, he went forward and changed the rules. we have done it in recent years. vote, we declared we are on the side of the problem solvers. simple fairness. willhanges we make today apply equally to both parties. when a republican is in power, these changes will apply to them. that is simple fairness. it is something both sides should be willing to live with. that is also simple fairness. the republicans are defending what is going on here. how can you do that? the d c circuit. circuit. from onet i got a call
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of my republican friends. he said, we have a deal for you. we will give you one for the d.c. circuit and that way it will be 5-4. i cannot imagine. , we have beennds in the house together and in the senate together. he came to me and said, what would you do? would you do, i said. just the two of us. i said, i am not answering that question. everyone knows what is going on is absolutely unfair and wrong and i am glad to change it. senator durbin? >> there comes a tipping point. today was that tipping point for the united states senate. how did we reach this point?
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we tried to reach friendly agreements between the democrats and the republicans in the senate. we tried several different times and several different ways. we said, no filibuster unless there are extraordinary circumstances. it turns out the extraordinary circumstance in the eyes of many republican senators was the reelection of barack obama. that gave them free license to oppose his nominees, not just for the court, but for many important executive agencies as well. an effort to try to solve this problem in a reasonable, commonsense fashion. there was another tipping point. that came about because of nominees to the d c circuit court. state. it from my home she argued for the two cases he for the u.s. supreme court. she was endorsed by both lyrical parties. when they were asked whether or not she could be bipartisan --
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add to that a professor at georgetown university law school. and then robert wilkins. all of them stopped by filibuster. not a single person on the republican side stood up to criticize their qualifications for the job. it denied president obama the opportunity to fill the slots on the court. that is what it came down to. to add insult to injury, what they did to our colleagues, congressman mel mwatt -- mel watt. it has been 1860 two cents they -- if you--1862
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listen to the speech gave to senator mcconnell, the notion of filibustering judges was a democratic idea. they abused it and we did too. that is what he said. what we said in return was that this change in the rule will provide for nor -- no future abuse i any political party. it solves the problem on a bipartisan basis. we are about to take a break for a couple of weeks. i want to come back and do some work. we have things to do. we have problems to solve. weeks,ook at the last 12 he can count on one hand what we have achieved. he put the government back in business. bill, which i am proud
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that we passed. but it fell off of the end of the earth when it went to speaker john boehner. thank you. first i want to thank senator reid for his leadership. today is a sad day. things should never have gotten to this point. we have been forced here by an extreme group that has waged a successful war on government. we believe firmly that governments have to function to help average families out of their morass. there is a group on the hard right that wants to stop everything dead in its tracks. nominees, executive nominees, and legislation. we have seen their success. the tea party wing of the republican party, which has been running the show, the leaves any dysfunction in government helps
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their cause. when a judge is blocked, their goals are served. when a cabinet post goes on failed for months on end, they think they win. goal andtion is their they have been achieving it a lot recently. look at the congressional approval ratings hovering in the single digits and assume it is a pox on both of our houses. the 9% rating is a cry by the american people to the congress: do something to help us. stop the gridlock. theblicans are grinding senate to a near standstill. a are using rules that were intended to bring people together to tear us apart. the age old rules of the senate are being used to paralyze us and the public is asking, is begging us to act.
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are at 9% approval because the rules give advantage to those who want to prevent the senate from achieving anything. mitch mcconnell says we tried to would -- we try to change the subject? i beg to differ. isee quarters of his speech dedicated to obamacare. we are not changing the subject. he is. theoes not want to discuss dysfunction and the way republicans have used the rules to tie this place in one big not . if you have 2 sides, one that is for action and one that is opposed, the senate rules give the opposition a head start. republicans have abused that advantage for years now, refusing to confirm qualified judges, preventing executive agencies from having the leaders they deserve. it is a new world.
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people demand action. the old rules need to be modified. that is what we have done today. we have not ripped them up. we have modified them in ways that can make rings work. not think aca does president, democrat or republican, deserves his or her pick for who should run the agency? nobody. but there is a long list of cabinet and sub cabinet positions that have been opposed. this.h it had not come to but the american people deserve a functioning government, not gridlock. if our government continues to be gridlocked, people are going to lose total faith in government and it will be a different america. it was an imperative to change the rules to help rake the gridlock and that is what we have done today.
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what is at issue here is our ability to have a functioning judiciary and government. after unprecedented obstruction, the step that was taken today simply allows us to exercise our and to confirm justices presidential appointees. earlier this year, we thought we would reach a deal that would avoid this. the majority leader did everything he could to make it clear he was open to compromise. but those on the other side of the aisle have shown time and again that they refuse to allow up or down votes. nobody comes to this decision easily. i served here in the majority and in the minority. i have been around long enough to know this is an entirely new level of obstruction. we have seen an abuse of rules that has wasted time and is intended to hurt our ability to
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work on behalf of the american people. this had to change. republicans every opportunity to change this unprecedented strategy. unfortunately, they gave us no choice but to act are refusing to give us up or down votes on qualified candidates who the american people deserve to have in place. senator, would any of these aftershocks have an impact on the prospects for a budget deal and moving the minimum wage? >> that is a lot of questions here. first of all, i will have senator murray answer that question. columnas a terrific written today. i think it was in the new york times. a wonder the it is
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way things are going on whether we will get through the prayer. that is what it has come to. surprised that since we have done this they do not start objecting to the prayer. >> chairman ryan and i are to findclosely together a path forward in good faith. weighwhat extent did you the potential long-term consequences if the public is and they the senate could push back roe v. wade an appeal -- repeal obamacare? this i mentioned earlier, country did really well for 140 years. on ending ate
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speech with a filibuster was in 1919. the country did great until then. the filibuster was put in place to get ink done. now it is used to stop everything. have really tried extremely hard. i have been criticized for a lot of people for having gone through to congresses. i wanted to get along. rodney king, let's just get along. i tried that. as i tried to play a more today and said he the truth. what has happened. the thing about this is that they do not deny why they are doing it. we understand all of the considerations, but let's be
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realistic. what more could they do to slow down the country? what more could they do then they have already done to stop the senate from legislating? we have all been in congress a long time. three of us served in the house. senator mary landrieu and in the senate a long time. --are so -- senator murray and i have been in the senate a long time. republican friends say, we know you are right. and i say, why do you vote the way you do? they vote together on everything and it is only to disparage the president of the united states. you said if you're majority would change -- you're majority
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would change, you would -- majority would change, you would use the filibuster change. >> let's get some work done on the senate floor. >> will this come back to bite you when you are in the minority question mark -- when you are in the minority? >> the senate has changed. look at what has happened. if we have a republican president and we think he should not have the team he wants, one thing people do not understand and i want to try to explain this a little bit. a simple majority will not be a piece of cake in every instance. there is stuff on the calendar where a few democrats do not like the nominees president obama has put up.
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let's work together. i have no fear of this whatsoever. having served in the house where it is majority rule, it is a different body. a majority vote is not so bad. >> you said had republicans made this move, it would have been a black chapter in the history of the senate. why isn't this a black chapter? >> back then, i gave speeches saying we cannot do this. it would be a bad day. we helped make it a bad day. i was part of that deal. do you realize with my consent, we allowed janice richards roberts -- rogers to go on that court? changed to radically since 2005, dramatically.
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years,t four and a half they have done everything they can to deny the fact that obama was elected and reelected. congress, last republican leader mitch mcconnell said his number one goal was to defeat obama. it did not work. obama is president. he has been hit. floor thatge on the things change. i have said publicly. i do not know if there was a bigger advocate on the floor. i did not always feel that way. i have a right to change how i feel about things. >> we prefer the risk of up or down votes for majority rules. that is the bottom line no matter who is in power. this morning's proceedings,
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how will that affect what is on the floor right now question mark -- what is on the floor right now? we have wasted days and weeks and months. they should issue all of that back. vote cloture on the defense bill. would allow senator levin g --senator in half -- ub inhofe to have a conference. i do not know what they will do. -- angstis this nagst about the defense of the country, they should vote cloture.
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i ignored somebody. yes, you. do you realize i knew you when you did not have gray hair? [laughter] given the logic of what you have just said about the filibuster, why leave it in place for supreme court justices ? why not even straight -- even eviscerate it? be jammingt want to anybody on that. i think it is important. i would hope no one would ever we tried yearsat to pack the court. that is a separate part of our country and our cost to ship. are you worried that they
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will filibuster nominees to the supreme court anyway? it.et them do if they want the majority, fine. as senator schumer said, what is the choice? continue like we are or have democracy? healthcare.gov is not fixed when you come back after thanksgiving, are you going to put the shaheen bill on the floor? happens.see what i will visit with my five children and 16 grandchildren. >>? nothing.ooking >> president obama says he supports the move by senate democrats to make it harder for republicans to block his nominees. the president spoke shortly after the senate voted to weaken
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the power of the filibuster. the rule change will make it harder for a nordic republicans to -- minority republicans to block nominees. the president spoke at the white house for about 10 minutes. >> good afternoon, everybody. it is no secret that the american people have probably never been more frustrated with washington. one of the reasons that is is that over the past five years, we have seen an unprecedented pattern of of structured in congress that has prevented too much of the american people's business from getting done. all too often we have seen a single senator or a handful of senators choose to abuse arcane procedural tactics to block bipartisan compromises, or to prevent well-qualified,
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patriotic americans from filling positions in our system of government. at a time when millions of americans have desperately searched for work, repeated abuse of these tactics have blocked legislation that might create jobs. they have defeated action that would help women fighting for equal pay. they have prevented more progress than we would have for striving young immigrants trying to earn their effortship, or blocked for companies. they are even being used to block widely important steps to protect americans from gun violence, even as families of victims sat in the senate chamber and watched. it invented americans from serving their country when their country needs your talent the most. and itharmed our economy
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has been harmful to our democracy. vote no longerty seems to be sufficient for anything, even routine business through what is supposed to be the world's greatest deliberative body. neither party has been blameless for these tax ticks. tics.c they have developed over the years and it seems as if they have continually escalated. pattern of obstruction is not normal. it is not what our founders envisioned. a deliberate and determined effort to obstruct theything just to refight results of an election is not normal. sake of future generations, we cannot let it become normal. the steps a majority of senators took to change the way washington is doing
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business, more specifically, the way the senate is doing business. a majority of senators determined that it would restore the long-standing tradition of considering judicial and public service nominations on a more routine basis. here's why this is important. one of the jobs of the president is to nominate positions. over the six decades before i took office, only 20 presidential nominees to executive positions had to overcome a filibuster. and just under five years since i have taken office, nearly 30 have been treated this way. these are all public servants to protect our national security, americans, keep our air and water clean. for the first time, they filibuster the president's choice for a secretary of defense who used to be a former republican senator.
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they did everything the holdup are epa administrator. they blocked our nominee at a top housing regulator when we need more help for more families to afford a home and prevent what has caused the mortgage meltdowns from happening again. in each of these cases it has not been because they opposed the person. some assessment they were unqualified, there was some scandal that had been unearthed. it was simply because they opposed the policies he american people voted for in the last election. this gets even worse when it comes to the judiciary. every president has exercised this power since george washington first name justices to the supreme court in 1789. my judicial nominees have waited two and a half times longer to thanve yes or no votes
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those of president bush. those are generally do get a vote are confirmed with little if any dissent. this is not obstruction on substance. this is just to gum up the works. congress causes gridlock in our criminal and justice systems. you see justices across the country including a bush appointed chief justice of the supreme court say these are vital vacancies that need to be the gridlock has not serve the cause of justice. in fact, it has undermined today. over the past three weeks, senator public in the den -- to pass these nominations even though they had the support of a majority of senators. four of resident bush's six nominees were confirmed.
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four of my five nominees have been instructed. i think, is an indication that a majority of senators believe as i do that enough is enough. it american people's business is far too important to keep falling prey day after day to washington politics. i'm a former senator. so as my vice president. we both value any senate's duty to advise and consent. it's important and we take it very seriously. treat thatrefuse to duty of advise and consent with respect that it deserves, it's no longer used in a responsible way to govern and it is used as a reckless and relentless tool to grind all business to a halt and that is not what the founders intended and not what our country needs. i just want to remind everyone what is at stake here is not my ability to the fill my constitutional duty.
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what is at stake is the ability of any president to for fill his or her constitutional duty. not a game.ce is it is a privilege. the consequences of action or inaction are very real. the american people deserve better than politicians who run for election telling them how terrible government is and then devote their time in elected office to try to make government not work as often as possible. now, i want to be clear. the senate has done some good bipartisan work this year. majority hasn passed commonsense legislation to fix our broken immigration system and up radar courts -- ports. they have passed a farm bill to help rural communities and vulnerable americans and has legislation to prevent americans for being fired based on their sexual orientation. folks there, are
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republican and democrat, who want to get things done. privately, they have expressed to me the recognition that the system in the senate had broken down. what used to be a sporadic exercise of a filibuster had gotten completely out of hand. believe -- i'm confident -- that spirit will have a little bit more space now. i want us to make sure we can do more work together to grow the economy and create jobs. if there are differences in the senate, then bates should be had. people should vote their conscience. i should vote -- vote on behalf of their constituents -- but they should vote. that is what they are there to do. ultimately, if you have a majority of folks who believe in something, then it should be able to pass. americans work hard. they do their jobs. they expect the same from everyone. as long as i have the privilege of being in this office, i will
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keep working as hard as i know how to make sure that the economy is growing, we are creating new jobs and widening prosperity for everybody. i know that as with the majority of people in the senate believe as well that the gears of government have to work. the stuff the majority of the senators said today i think will help make those gears work a little bit better. x very much, everybody. >> and now josh will answer all your questions. >> does this mean a political war? [laughter] >> president obama earlier this afternoon at the white house reacting to the senate vote changing long-standing rules on filibusters for judicial nominees and for executive excepts, all of those for the supreme court. here on c-span, we will open up our phone lines over the next few minutes and hear your reactions to the significant
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changes in rules for the senate today. here is how to participate. if you are a democrat, the line is -- republicans -- and for all others -- looking at c-span chat. comments there and we will read some of those and not a spoke. facebook.com/c-span. joining us from capitol hill, burgess average, eight and rational reporter for literature. what brought here he read to this point where he felt like he had to change the filibuster rule? that it is tell you unprecedented obstruction by the republican specifically with these important d.c. circuit order the appeals. three of them were blocked in three weeks by republicans who argued that the workflow does not justify their confirmation. senator reid and the democratic caucus decided that republicans were just trying to keep obama from the filling is cost to national duties.
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>> will this open up the floodgates? from this point on, will senator reid be able to bring those particular nominees in for a quick vote, for example? not say quick but the 60 vote threshold has been eliminated at this point and as soon as they change the rules, they brought up one of these over theand they got procedural hurdle with only 55 votes. they used the power very quickly. however, there are still very arcane procedural things that require long delays between the votes they refuse to give consents so things will not necessarily move faster but democrats will be able to move with more majority rule from here on out. >> the front page political head line is senate goes for nuclear option. you write in that article that the republican leader, mitch mcconnell, was "furious" and tried to make a motion to
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adjourn for the day or adjourn until late in the afternoon that failed. he had to see this coming. >> itself a little thought into almost most of us being that it cropped up right before thanksgiving break. this has been steadily building all year. this is the third filibuster will -- rule spike. each time they have gotten successively closer to the brink and this time they went over. >> clarify. this applies just to nominees and executive and judicial nominees, not the supreme court. what about legislation? they're debating the defense authorization bill. without the subject filibuster rules? likes legislation would still be at a 60 vote threshold to end debate. the procedural verbals -- hurdles would still be there. that's partially because the house of representatives is controlled by republicans. it does not necessarily matter if they would be able to pass partisan legislation because they would not be able to become
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law. now, they're concentrating on the senate. not unlike the house, they have to prove that these nominees so they're concentrating on the things they can do unilaterally which is approved barack obama's picks. >> and for historical reference, when was the last time the senate changed or attempted to change the filibuster rules? to change themed in july, not that long ago. they did change a few rules in january, a bit more piecemeal thing to get rid of a few procedural hurdles but it left the filibuster unscathed. >> burgess average with politico, you can read his reporting on politico.com and on twitter. let's get your phone calls. duncan in mckinley though california on our democrats line. what did you think about today's change? >> i was very impressed. it was a courageous move, long overdue. low approval the
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ratings of congress, as far as the public is concerned, something has to change and it's a good first step on the part of the senate. exempting supreme court nominees is a wise move or the long-term. thank you. >> y on the supreme court nominees? frankly,preme court, those nominees carry a heavier weight than other judicial nominees i'm glad that they exempted the supreme court nominees from this rule change. >> let's hear from the republican leaders. grayson, kentucky, on the republican line. you on the air, go ahead. >> the republicans might as well go on home. i've never seen a bunch of people who change the rules or bend the rules, whatever it takes to get their way. they may as well just go on home.
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way.wanted their way or no if they cannot get their way, they will change the rules to make it work. it looks to me that it was the democrats who wanted to filibuster when it served them, but now that it don't serve them , they want to change the rules. >> let's look at twitter, a few different views. democratic senator sheldon whitehouse saying, today, we took an important step to break the gridlock in the senate. senator ted cruz, -- to crag in fairview, missouri, on the democrats line. hello. >> hello? thank you for taking my call. give.ing had to in thatte had seven
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they were pushed to do by the house of representatives and i agree with it wholeheartedly. if they get to take control down the line somewhere, so be it. for now, we need to take care of what's going on in the country , ther as healthcare .nvironment it's a shame it had to come to this, but i'm ok with it. i think most democrats would be and independence. >> democrats voting to change to rules in the senate 58-42 allow for a simple majority is opposed to the cloture votes in the past that would require at least a super majority of 60, the two thirds majority. the cloture votes to limit debate now a simple majority.
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the nominee to the district , the cloture vote was invoked this afternoon shortly after the change to the rules. we are taking or phone calls, comments on twitter and on facebook. to weighe.com/c-span in on your thoughts. huntsville, alabama, is next on the independent line. is jim from huntsville, alabama. i believe everything that is being done under the leadership of president obama is being done to tear our country apart. the and result always divides people, puts them in an unstable situation and it does nothing to further our great country. uses a processhe
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-- i'm reluctance -- reluctant to say, but a thought process that is more found in other nations. call, jim.u for your senator mcconnell and republican leaders shortly came out to the area just outside of the senate floor and spoke to reporters about his reaction. [video clip] this threat for some time now. we have had a discussion about rules changes. senator alexander was right in the middle of those and we will give you enough they on what happened back in january just to refresh your memory. after that, the majority leader said we had set the rules for this congress. well, obviously, that was a commitment not kept. we thought he said if you like to senate rules you could keep them. in fact, we ended up having another discussion in july with
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another threat of the so-called nuclear option and then you have seen what they did today. talk about a manufactured crisis. we confirmed 215 judges and defeated two. the problem, with regards to the d c circuit, entirely related to the size of the cord and the size of the docket. we took exactly the same view summit -- senate democrats took during the bush administration that there was no rationale for extending or increasing the membership of the d c circuit, exactly the same rationale. signed by schumer, kennedy, others saying there is no need for an additional judge. emergencies and other parts of the country but this is nothing but a power grab to further the president's agenda. they just broke the senate rules in order to exercise this power grab.
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>> senator mcconnell after the 52-48 though changing the rules in the u.s. senate on filibusters allowing a simple majority as opposed to a two thirds majority on those cloture votes to limit debate for judicial and executive nominees. a few tweets. c-span chat. here is patti and omaha, nebraska, on our democrats line. >> thank you very much for taking my call.
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disagree with your previous caller who came in. i am absolutely thrilled with the fact that this gridlock has been broken. for thest ridiculous house and senate to not function as deliberative bodies. this is just one step in trying to get some of it cleared up. senate changes to the other party, they will have just the same opportunities. i'm just appalled that people don't understand that. this is a good move today, so i'm very happy. thank you. >> new york on the independent line. >> i would like to know what type of government would exist without checks and balances? our system has worked well since 1776. the filibuster has been around since the 1820's. it should remain in effect for 60 votes.
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light tothem a green change whatever they want. >> what do you think about the previous caller's comment about gridlock? >> i think the gridlock exists because instead of people sometimes wanting to pass votes that are important, they want to and play politics and favoritism. >> do you think the change in the rules will speed things up? >> i think the change in these rules will give us the route to a socialist type of government. >> thank you for your call. one more from fresno, california. paul on the republican line. are you there he? >> i would just like to say that i really hope the american people wake up . this is just one step closer to a dictatorship, not a democracy.
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if they really don't realize that -- i really disagree with the caller before last. i think she really needs to wake up. with a democracy. obama has turned it into a monarchy and harry reid wants to turn it into a complete dictatorship. i've seen it before. we all have. up,st hope people wake november. >> more of your calls and comments coming at it later on at 8:00 p.m. eastern and show you a lot of today's activities and the president's comments from the white house. remember you can continue to post your comments on facebook. facebook.com/c-span) the top of the page where we ask for your thoughts on the changes in filibuster rules. next up, the briefing this morning from nancy pelosi, democratic leader in the house. this was held before the changes that happened this afternoon. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> good morning. i've invited some special guests to our weekly. because of the press's business among mr. hoyer will only be with us at the start so i want .im to start >> thank you very much, leader. many of you have heard me say but you know it as well -- eight legislative days left in 2013 according to the republican majority schedule. two of those days are days in which we come in at 6:30 p.m. there's not much time there to do the work of the american people. however, republicans seem content to let the clock run out on replacing the irrational sequester with a balanced agreement, a sequester that will hurt our country, our economy, and puts at risk our national security. we have to prevent a second year of the sequester from taking effect in january. even the public and
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appropriators are saying we need to take action now. the12 chairs of appropriations subcommittees have said that. they said this -- the failure to reach a budget deal to allow appropriators to assemble funding for 2014 will reopen the specter of another government shutdown. the republicans are going to be a responsible leadership party, they will represent that and they will provide for adequate funding for the government of the united states of america. the current sequester and the second of coming in january would result in more indiscriminate across-the-board inuctions that could have, my opinion, negative consequences on critically important federal programs especially national defense. that quote was from the republican shares.
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the american people then went on to say they deserve a detailed group to make rational and intelligent choices on funding by their elected representatives . then they added this -- not by meat ax. that is the ryan budget. i was an appropriator for many years as was leader pelosi, and mr. clyburn. >> not for so many years. out of the us come appropriations committee and we understand the obligations and responsibilities of that committee to the american people -- not to a party, not to democrats or republicans, but to the american people. billsss must act to spur to make it in america. there is no time to waste. only six days and two partial days left to do our work.
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i urged my colleagues as i know the leader has. we will not vote to adjourn until such time as we have addressed the critically important issues on our agenda. among those, the budget conference, unemployment taxrance, the farm bill, extenders and, yes, we ought to do a comprehensive image -- immigration reform and ending discrimination in the work place as well. our caucus is determined to stay and do the work of the american people and i thank the leader for allowing me to go first. i will rely on you to answer questions. >> thank you, mr. whipp, for joining us this morning. this is the last time we will see you before the thanksgiving break. i wanted all of our colleagues to have something to say about the concerns we have about leaving now. mr. hoyer very clearly pointed out that time is a wasting. and this is ticking
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the republican agenda for 2014. do you think that's funny? an agenda that is nothing? a timetable that is never? does that work for you? it does not work for the american people. we need a budget as soon as possible. we need a budget as soon as we can so that we can create jobs, grow the economy, and reduce the deficit. the deficit, we can fill that page with initiatives to do just that. our colleagues will speak more fully about that. mr. van hollen represents us so well as the ranking member on the budget committee and on the conference from the house democrat side. you have heard our approach over and over again and he will reiterated -- to create jobs by building infrastructure and in the long term by investing in early childhood education by making sure we have new eyes and
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what we are doing right now because people will be cut off by the end of this year. sequestration. we talk about immigration. i proudly wear the pin of the fasters in the mall who are saying, act fast. they are fasting hoping that we will act fast to pass comprehensive immigration reform which has a big boost in terms of dollars to the economy. $150 billion in one year to the federal budget, over $900 billion over 10 years. everything that we are talking about helps to reduce the deficit whether it is immigration reform, passing a farm bill, which has the snap program. for every one dollar that is spent on the snap row graham, more money comes back to the
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treasury. for every one dollar spent on unemployment insurance, more money comes back to the treasury. the immigration bill helps to reduce the deficit. we are talking about investments that will reduce the deficit and to have sequestration is a false economy because it cuts the very investments, like infrastructure , like medical research, through the economy. with that, i'm pleased to yield to our budget representative because he will give us a framework as he sees it and then go to my other colleagues. i do so with the greatest appreciation for the work that mr. van hollen is doing as our ranking member on the banking committee. >> thank you, madam leader. a little while ago, some coin to the phrase, no budget no pay. as we gather today, we have no budget. we would hope those same
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individuals would certainly adopt the proposition -- no budget, no vacation. we should not be adjourning in mid-december until we have completed work on the budget. i'm going to read a little sentence here. the failure to reach a budget deal to allow appropriations to assemble funding for fiscal year 2014 will open the specter of another government shutdown. that is a little plagiarism from the same letter that mr. hoyer referred to. this is from the republican chairman of the appropriations committee and chairman of the republican subcommittee. ist you see in this letter republicans recognizing that if we don't get our work done, a lot of their colleagues may be pushing for another government shutdown january 2015. they shut down the government and there is a real prospect that if we don't get the added
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done by mid-december that we will see a repeat of that. that is why we have put forward our priorities in this budget negotiation and they are very simple. jobsnt to focus on getting and the economy moving again. we want to focus on jobs now, jobs in the future. we propose a major additional investment in our infrastructure , roads, bridges, highways, infrastructure of the 21st century to help put people back to work and meet a lot of unmet needs. meet nationalbs, priorities. we also believe we should invest now in early education for our kids and that is a national priority. second, we should replace the sequester. place forp it in another year, the congressional budget office says we will have 800,000 fewer jobs by this time next year. we believe that we have to renew the unemployment compensation because millions of
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americans who have jobs, who lost jobs through no fault of their own, and who are still looking for work have been unable to find it and they will be cut off from the security they can provide to their families which, by the way, not only helps them that helps people in our community. our colleagues will be talking about the infrastructure investment and also the unemployment compensation peace as well. i just wanted to see a few more words about a sequester replacement. will createed, it job loss in the coming year if we don't do anything about it. see $20r, you will billion in additional cuts to defense spending relative to this year. i would hope we would all be motivated to come together before december 15 to come up with a budget agreement to deal with those issues. we have tried seven times this year, democrats in the house, to get a vote on our proposal to
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replace the sequester for fiscal year we are in right now. get a votee did not on october 1 to prevent the government shutdown, we have not even being given the opportunity to vote on our proposal to replace the sequester which would do one of two things. it would reduce the really excessive agriculture subsidies that have been going to millionaire agricultural interests and it would eliminate a lot of special-interest tax breaks. that would help us put more towards education and prevent job losses this year. need a budget negotiation. we need to get it done before december 13. it should include the elements that i just talked about. of course, on immigration, that's another way to supercharge our economy now but it would also help pay for a lot of these things in the course. thank you, madam leader. >> mr. clyburn.
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>> thank you, madam leader. i am pleased to join with our ranking member on the budget with trying to reach some common ground with our republican colleagues on the budget. this will remove the tremendous hanging over now the american people. last saturday was a very pleasant day in south carolina. my wife and i decided to leisurely drive through the rural part of my district. stop, a young lady asked me whether or not the letter she had just received about unemployment insurance was actually going to be a fact,
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whether or not come next month, she would in fact lose her unemployment insurance because she had not been able to find a job. longe been talking for a long time about the gap that is growing in our country how middle-income people are being out of the employment picture and into unemployment insurance. i have talked with our authorities on the subject and unemploymentthat is a direct contributor to our budget deficit. is affecting this
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is about as bad as anything else and it is the absence of a livable wage among working men and women. offsenate is poised to take with an increase on the minimum wage when they return the second week of december. i believe there are more than 190 signatures calling for the house to do something similar to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. that is something we ought to do. we ought to do it right away. theink it will incentivize working men and women, people who go to work every day and work very hard and find
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themselves still unable to eke out a living, it is time for us to take steps towards a livable wage for all working men and women in the first step to that would be to increase the minimum houreven to $10.10 per because it will not get us to a livable wage but it will start us on the journey and i hope the house of representatives will follow suit and bring a minimum wage bill to the floor and let's restore some security. let's give some hope to working men and women as we move forward. we are about to approach the most important and impactful season on the american economy. if people are not comfortable,
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they will not be able to enjoy the holidays. they will not be able to do the kind of shopping that so many of in innstituents take part order to have a good bottom line and their businesses if they do not feel some security in their lives and the best way to do that, it seems to me, is to say to working men and women that we feel your pain and we will address that pain by increasing the minimum wage. with that, i would like to yield to the chair of our caucus, mr. becerra. >> thank you, jim. leader made a very important point. we were dressed this morning by fasting,icans who are
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in some cases, for over nine days. as the leader said, their message was -- act fast. they know what we know. there is no reason why we should leave in december and not have completed our work. the message should be to our colleagues who have a do-nothing agenda, act now. now.n act we know we can do a number of things that would help us create more jobs that would help us helpour economy, that will us build up and not tear down the middle class. we could do something for this budget conference that would help us reduce our deficit. those fasters know it very well. broken to fix the immigration system. everyone including the congressional budget office, our fiscal nonpartisan referee has
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told us you are doing immigration reform and you reduce the deficit at the federal level by close to $1 trillion. you do immigration reform, you help the budget conferees come up with $150 billion worth of reductions and deficit by including it in your fiscal conversations. you do comprehensive immigration reform and you create thousands of new jobs in america. us to act fast. we believe our republican colleagues should hear the message -- act now. it's good for the economy. it's good for america for us to do this and at some point, our colleagues will recognize either they're going to get elected and do things for our country before their party or we are going to continue to stagnate. it is time for us to act. we in congress have to match what the senate did. we have to match what the president is doing.
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we have to match with the private sector has been doing for quite some time -- 200,000 jobs created last month. we must act. a time for the house of representatives to pull its own weight and get things done. rather than shut down, let's build up america's middle class. let's build up our working men and women. let's build up an opportunity for us to have an immigration system that works. it's time to act now. let me yields to the vice chairman the caucus joe crowley. >> chairman becerra. like the leader and the chair, i also wear the button to remind me of those five individuals on who are fasting for immigration reform. maybe it is the irish-american in me that makes me very sensitive to the issues of hunger. whether it is the $40 billion my colleagues want to come from food stamps or whether the fact that there are five individuals
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on the mall today fasting for comprehensive immigration reform . hunger for more than just food. they hunger for justice. and we need is a just comprehensive immigration bill to pass. also, my republican colleagues are possibly looking for some ideas and maybe that is why they have this blank agenda. if they're looking for some ideas, i know of two point one million people who may have a suggestion. americans whoy will lose unemployment insurance if this congress does not act to extend this critical lifeline for their families. unemployment insurance is not .ust good for americans it is good for our economy. economistsnpartisan have consistently found that unemployment benefits are one of the most effective ways to growth.
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for every one dollar spent on unemployment insurance, $1.64 is circulated back into the economy. by cutting off extended unemployment benefits now, just after christmas, this will cost our economy 310,000 jobs. the facts are clear. unemployment insurance strengthens our economy and when our economy does better, more jobs are created and more americans are working. dr. exactly what out of work americans want more than anything else right now -- a job is my republican colleagues want any ideas to grow the economy, they should look in the eyes of millions about of work americans were struggling to make ends meet today. all the republicans can offer our blank stares to match their blank agenda. , my colleague and friend from new york, mr. israel.
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you, joe. it is now public that house republicans have a daily playbook to sabotage, to ambush, and to repeal the affordable care act. that unmasked them for exactly who they are. they do not have a playbook to create jobs. they do not have a playbook to help infrastructure. they do not have a playbook to reform it immigration. they do not even have a budget. they do not have a playbook to fix a broken healthcare system. they have a playbook that will to the days of a system that did not work that would leave hard-working people back into bankruptcy as a result healthcare that would give insurance companies unchecked power to deny care and drop coverage. we're are going to relentlessly remind the american people that in this congress, there is one
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group, the house democrats, who vowed to fix and improve the affordable care act, one group that wants to fix it and another group that wants to repeal it and put the fix in for insurance companies. we will be relentless in reminding the american people about the difference between playbooks to sabotage and ambush the affordable care act playbook reformte jobs, immigration, and pass a budget to strengthen the middle class. thank you. colleagues. to my you have heard about a number of subjects here this morning but titlell fall under one and that is growth. growth of the economy. and reduce thet deficit? reducing the deficit is served by creating jobs and bringing in revenue. reducing the deficit is served by passing immigration reform. reducing the deficit is served by putting money in the pockets of the american people through
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unemployment insurance that they deserve. as mr. crowley said, one dollar 65 -- $1.64 for every one dollar spent erie it economists have increased that number again. for every one dollar spent on $1.70 infused into our economy. to say you want to cut in order to reduce the deficit, if you're making the wrong cuts, you are growing the deficit. the same applies for investing in building the infrastructure of america where the society of industrial engineers says we get terms of the caliber of our infrastructure right now. investing in early childhood education would be the best investment that we could make. we need to feed the children, teach the children, have been learning while their parents are
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earning a minimum wage that toues work and enables them inject demand. it comes back to one word -- growth. create jobs and reduce the deficit. reason buto other money to pass the affordable care act, because it was unaffordable and the costs were unsustainable to individuals, families, businesses small and large, there was a competitiveness issue locally for our businesses and certainly unsustainable for government at every level including the federal government while the rate of inflation is the lowest in 50 years according to the council on economic advisers and the report they just put out yesterday that i saw this morning. again, it is all about deficit reduction -- reduce the deficit,
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reduce the interest that we pay on the deficit, but do so by creating jobs and growing the economy. not by just getting special tax breaks for special interests and the tax code. we want to see tax reform be a part of the agenda as well. i'm hopeful that we will be able to get a budget agreement very soon so appropriate or's can finish their work by december 13. i would hope that something would be announced before we leave for certainly before we come back but it has to be something that, again, rids us of the sequester, invests in jobs long and short-term thomas on is our commitment on unemployment insurance and create jobs immediately by building the infrastructure of our country. i'm sure my colleagues will be pleased to take any questions you might have. start with you this time since you were last last time.
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>> i believe president obama that he's willing to pass ?mmigration form bit by bit >> we always said on that that the speaker is the speaker and anyway he wants to bring a bill to the floor in pieces, big chunks, whatever, we just want to see legislation come to the floor so that congress can act upon that legislation, the house can to send it to the conference table with the senate which has already passed immigration reform in a bipartisan way. it's important to note that we have 190 cosponsors, three republicans, but many more republicans have said that they would vote for the bill if it came to the floor. did you want to say anything? next question.
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expressedthat you hopes that you get a budget deal in place soon. there seems to be growing momentum and talk about it under yet another short-term cr to get you through the holidays. i was just wondering what your thoughts are on that should a budget yield not be met in time. >> mr. clyburn spoke very clearly to that. have the christmas season, the biggest time for consumer high.ence to be it's really necessary. we would hope that they could have something at least by the time we come back, december 1 or second so that the appropriators can act upon it i december 13. did you want to say anything? >> the continuing resolution goes until january 15 so that is in place. what we need though, as the leader said, is to be able to come find some commonality on
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some topline numbers in the that the appropriators can get some work done before that time. if we can get some topline numbers between now and december, we believe -- between the first of december, maybe the appropriators would have until the 13th to flush all of that out. i believe that we are still hopeful. i'm hearing conflicting reports as to whether there is movement that is part of it. probability -- >> he said it just right. look. the republicans chaired the budget conference right now. put any proposal on the table. we have a proposal on the table to replace the sequester for 2014, which we are in right now,
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from much earlier this year. we try to get a vote on it seven times. if you're not going to give the people of this country the opportunity to have a vote on that issue, at least put your own plan on the table. don't try to run out the clock and raise the specter of another government shutdown. they tried that once. we hope that they will not try it again. the reason to get this done now and by early december is, yes, so the appropriators can do their work but also to send a clear message to the american people at a critical moment that we will not roll the dice again on a government shutdown just a few weeks later. we know that is what the publicans did once and we just saw some proposals yesterday, actually, from some of the same people who were the architect of the government shutdown to once again try to demand changes in the affordable care act as part
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of the continuing resolution if that's what it comes to. they're going after one of the parts of the affordable care act that's working really well, to provide working people with lower incomes with coverage. yet some of their once again threatening to use the appropriations process to change that and otherwise shut down the government. >> it's important to note that yesterday marked five weeks since -- is it today -- since the president signed the bill to open up the government. we still have not seen anything. we could be well down the path of the topline coming from the budget committee to the appropriators taking the time to do their work and removing all doubt in the public's mind that we will get this done and that they will not run out the clock, as mr. van hollen said. be fewer options left
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in the decision-making and therefore that would be harmful for the american. >> congressman tray radel let guilty to cocaine possession. [inaudible] >> i won't go to that place just to say. carelad that he is seeking and patrick kennedy took the legislation and .rovisions regarding addiction that is really important and it is well served by the affordable care act. the inconsistency on the side to say we are going to cut $40 billion out of food stamps and, by the way, you should be drug tested before you can get food
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stamps when people are voting are not engaged in that activity. having said that, i come back to the sadness i feel for his family. he addressed his problems. he left congress. i'm not suggesting congressman radel leave. his familyething for and constituents. they are setting a very high standard for themselves because he used his personal challenges to make a difference in public policy and that makes a big difference improving the lives of the american people and that's a tough act to compare yourself to. >> i took to the floor to challenge that part of the agriculture bill.
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strongly that illnesses are illnesses and they are to be treated that way. i believe that is disingenuous for a republican colleagues to start looking for escape goats and doing these kinds of comparisons. let's take a hard look. that's not the only calamity we have seen recently. we just saw a public official in virginia who came close to losing his life because our mental health system failed his family. this ought to highlight for all of us the necessity to treat illnesses as illnesses and stop looking for scapegoats. >> we have time for one more. >> there has been some discussion in the conference about non-taxed revenues being part of the mix with user fees and revenue from the sale of the
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communication spectrum, things like that. in the context of a smaller deal for the sequester, is it something you can live with? or do you guys absolutely have closinga tax loophole to make it work for you? >> you mentioned a couple user fees that are in various budgets. we are just a little perplexed that our republican colleagues think it's a better idea to raise tsa fees on the american public than close a tax loophole that actually creates incentives for american companies to move their profits to places like the cayman islands. obviously, we should look at various fees because we want to make sure that they are set at provided.the service again, we find it very strange that republicans would want to take off the table the closure
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of tax breaks that protect special interests and very wealthy individuals while they want to lick of the other fees that have a broader impact on the american public. why they would focus on one to the exclusion of the other is a question people are going to have to ask about priorities. >> especially at the same time when they want seniors to pay more for their medicare. offar, the budget is one millionaires over medicare and we are on the side of the american people who have access to medicare as a pillar of their economic and health security. beefully the budget will driven by values. hopefully it will be evidence- based. hopefully it will reflect the need for us to get to work to create jobs to reduce the deficit. i hope you have a very happy thanksgiving.
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-- i don'tafternoon know what time we will get out, but later this afternoon we will be having a special order to observe the 50th anniversary, which is tomorrow, of the assassination of president kennedy. this is something that none of you were born at the time, but for those of us who witnessed it or were alive at the time, we who be speaking to others others who were inspired also. since we are out tomorrow, we are going to be very prayer full today and send our wishes. i know the kennedy family is more interested in focusing on the president's birthday or his inauguration day with many other accomplishments. yesterday was beautifully observed, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the presidential medal of freedom award and all of that implied on
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the value he placed on growing our economy, the education of our people, sports, the arts, and the rest. it has made a difference in our country. he inspires many of us to be involved in politics. much legislation sprang from his original agenda. we will talk more about that this afternoon. just remembering always president kennedy said children are our greatest resource and our best bet for the future. hopefully that will be the spirit of this budget, that we think in terms of our children and their future. thank you all. >> that was the house democratic leader this morning before the senate voted to overturn decades of precedent by eliminating the filibuster rule on cloture vote allowing the minority to block final votes. the vote on changing the rules was 52-48. 16th rules can require the
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vote majority on nominees including judicial. the vote was 52-48 and they did for the appeals court for the district of columbia and her nomination which has been on the senate floor. also today in the senate, they failed to invoke cloture on the defense authorization bill. the vote was 51-44 to limit debate on that program and policy bill. the debate continues on the filibuster and the defense bill. you can follow that on c-span 2. friday marks 50 years since the assassination of resident john f. kennedy and our special coverage include your calls remembering the day during "washington journal." starting at 7:00 a.m. eastern. the rarely seen coverage from november 22, 1963, when they
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first reported on the assassination. we take you live to dallas for a commemorative event from dealey plaza including a historian reading from some of the president's speeches at 12:30 p.m. and to boston at the jfk presidential library and museum for a musical tribute with james taylor, and the u.s. naval academy women's elite club performing selections from the president's state funeral. earlier today john kerry testified at why he was thinking it was important to ratify a disabilities treaty. efforts to ratify the treaty failed last year. this hearing is an hour, 20 minutes.

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